To begin with and as I grew up as a teenager, I was utterly passionate about racing motocross dirt bike motorcycles.
Jun 25, Sergei rated it did not like it It takes a certain and rare kind of writer to make a story about civil war, genocide, and a refugee crisis boring and unreadable; that writer, specifically, is Dave Eggers.
It's not that I don't understand the purpose that this book serves - just as we import the Third World's raw resources to fuel our own material greed, so must we import their tragedies to break up the monotony of our lives.
My question is - can't we get better books to do it? First of all, the voice is terrible. At points it r It takes a certain and rare kind of writer to make a story about civil war, genocide, and a refugee crisis boring and unreadable; that writer, specifically, is Dave Eggers.
At points it reads like a parody of an American trying to imitate an African oh, wait, it is, although Dave Eggers has probably at least met some, so I don't know what his excuse is. Take the very first sentence: The language is stilted and formal in a very amateurish way, not at all the way a young man talks, and for no good reason.
Second, why is it that going through a capital-T Tragedy means that none of the characters are allowed to have personalities? This happens all the time in fiction about genocide. No one is allowed to be cowardly, or funny, or petty, or squabbling - everyone must be stoic and long-suffering, because they are Noble Victims, and that is how Noble Victims are supposed to act in real life, many people who go through tragedy tend to develop dark, savage senses of humor, but you wouldn't know that from reading this.
After all, you can only be a nuanced and articulated character if you grew up in the suburbs of America, preferably with an unhappy childhood and a substance abuse problem in college.
Third, Eggers' writing is just flat and boring.
Take, for instance, Eggers describing an air raid: Dut screamed to us that we needed to run but did not tell us where. We ran in a hundred directions and two boys chose the wrong direction.
They ran for the shelter of a large tree and this is where the bomb struck. One of the most intense and terrifying things that can happen to you in life, and this is the treatment it gets? The plane returned and soon there was a whistle? Eggers writes like he just wants to get it over with.
Which I don't exactly blame him for. There is a bit of unintentional humor - when, in the present story, Deng tells Americans that he's from Sudan, but not Darfur, they quickly lose interest, because Americans only care about the foreign trouble spots that are hip to care about.
But Eggers, along with the rest of the world, doesn't care, because it's messy and complicated, whereas in Sudan you have Good Guys and Bad Guys. Much easier to understand - and much easier to sell books about.
All that having been said, Eggers is a genius; just not a literary genius. He is a genius for pulling the ultimate bait and switch: Because that is who the hero is here, Dave Eggers, even though he doesn't appear once in the actual plot.
After all, young Valentino's story would have remained untold - if it were not for the Deus Ex Maquina of Dave Eggers, who tells it like no one else can.
That's what Eggers wanted to write, and now he's given you one.What is the What, by Dave Eggers, is a docu-drama-type "novel" based on the real life of Valentino Achak Deng. At the age of seven (maybe eight) he watches his Sudanese village be attacked and destroyed by government-sponsored militia/5(K).
Which, Jesus later states: “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children (attain a metaphorical state of spiritual innocence), ye shall .
So much learning, spiritual direction, and guidance for writing a spiritual autobiography, in a one-cent purchase! Even though later versions are surely wonderful as well, it is good to know that the essential strength of this work is present in any version.
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Please check your internet connection or reload this page. The journal (vs. spiritual autobiography): 51 He appears on the island, stripped of most but not all trappings of civilization, sleeps in a tree: 36 Tho quickly begins accumulating some elements of civilization to rebuild: ; Review Highlighting the differences between autobiographical writing and memoir writing, Phifer urges amateur writers to write of the inner .